FLORIDA — When celebrating the Fourth of July this weekend, remember to be conscious of where you are lighting fireworks because the bursts of color and noise can quite literally scare a bird to death.
With each explosion, a bird will panic and fly from its nest. Baby chicks then scatter and are exposed to predators along with heat till the parents return. Birds will also easily mistake firework debris, left on the beach, as food – the hungry chicks will nibble on the plastic and eat the small pieces.
Click here for a guide to the beach-nesting species.
If it is possible, Audubon urges people in Florida to leave the bird’s nests alone by not deploying fireworks on the beach.
Throughout the Fourth of July weekend, Audubon Florida’s bird stewards will be out around the beach to help preserve the bird’s nesting locations.
To make beaches safer for birds:
- Give nesting birds at least 100 feet of distance or as much as possible. Signs or people will alert you to these areas, but some birds haven’t settled down to start nesting yet and may just look like they are resting in the sand. Please avoid walking through flocks of birds on the upper beach.
- If pets are permitted on beaches, keep them leashed and well away from birds.
- Remove trash and food scraps, which attract predators that will also eat birds’ eggs and/or chicks.
- Do not drive on beach dunes or other nesting areas.
- Attend a municipal fireworks show instead of deploying personal fireworks.